Personal Transformation Experience
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Gift of Grace for Selfless Service

Here is my story about Swami's intervention in fulfilling one of my latest wishes: Attending a Vipassana retreat. 

 

Towards the end of last year, I came to know about the traditional Buddhist meditation called 'Vipassana'. I had the good fortune to experience a 'mild' version of this in a meditation centre in Sri Lanka, and I loved the wisdom and the light which comes with silence and stillness by simply observing one's breath and one's mind. 

When I came back to Greece, I immediately searched for the possibility of attending a proper 10-day Vipassana retreat in Greece. It turned out that there was going to be one such retreat two months later; however all the men's places were taken and there was even a waiting list. Yet, I sent my application thinking that I had nothing to lose, rather than hoping for the miracle of being accepted.

 

A month passed by and I kept receiving notifications that I was still on the waiting list. At the same time, I was taking part in the weekly Narayana Seva, organised by the Greek Sai devotees. 

 

One day, around Christmas, when we were distributing food in the port of Piraeus, I met a poor man who seemed very desperate, as he could not communicate with his family in Romania. I also noticed that he was quite underdressed for the cold winter of Athens and that he only had very few belongings which he kept in a trolley, next to the corner where he used to sleep.

 

I decided to help him contact his family and to support him in any way I could. I went home and brought him some blankets and even some clothes that were very dear to me. I even hesitated for a moment, as I was not sure if I should give away these particular items which were quite special to me. Thankfully, I made the right decision as I knew this man needed them more than I did. I went back to his sleeping place and handed over the things. I was moved to see his happy and grateful eyes! We hugged and then I left.

 

As soon as I got home, my phone rang. The number was unknown and so was the voice of the person on the other end of the line. His first question was if I was still interested in that Vipassana meditation retreat! Of course I was interested! Apparently, some people had cancelled their participation, so there was a place left for me. I was exhilarated! The man said, "You could consider it as a Christmas present!" Of course I did! And I even knew who it was from... 

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Evangelos

Region 3, Greece